SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2013 – Earth Day is now a worldwide annual celebration focused on supporting environmental protection and giving attention to environmental issues. It has its roots in San Francisco, when peace activist John McConnell introduced the idea at a UNESCO Conference in 1969. The concept was eventually sanctioned in a proclamation by the United Nations, and later, put into action by US Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), who, after witnessing the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, spearheaded the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.
An estimated 20 million Americans participated in that first Earth Day. The day is now organized globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in nearly 200 countries. But there is no better place to celebrate Earth Day than the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the greenest cities in North America. Celebrations are happening all over the city, but here is a short list of wonderful Earth Day and Earth Week activities to consider.
Earth Day SF 2013: Saturday April 20, 10am – 6pm, Civic Center Plaza.
This free festival is right in the heart of San Francisco, and it has everything: kids’ activities, organic food vendors, green films, live music, an artists’ grove and even an eco-fashion show. A bike valet is available. But taking public transportation (or walking/biking) is also recommended.
The Earth Week programs range from live chats with scientists, to hands-on activities, special film screenings, nature walks, family nature crafts, and a “little naturalist” program for children ages 3-5. For the more ambitious, they are offering a two-day conservation photography workshop for people 18 and older on April 20-21, and that includes a Saturday afternoon workshop at the Academy and an all-day Sunday field trip to the Point Reyes National Seashore. (Workshop tickets sold in advance.)
Jack London State Historic Park: Wine & Walk Celebration: 4/20 – 4/21.
During the Wine & Walk Celebration, you can raise a glass for conservation. Area wineries are donating a percentage of their weekend’s sales to Jack London Park. Stop in at participating wineries en route to Jack London Park, and enjoy your wine while in the park. People are encouraged to bring a picnic. You can travel through the 1,400 acres and 20 miles of trails of the park on foot, bike or even horseback. Soak in Mother Earth with views of Sonoma Valley, towering redwood forests, natural streams, and an abundance of bird species.
Iron Horse Vineyards: Eat, Drink & Be Green, Sunday, April 21, 12 - 4pm.
This is a festival-style event where you can stroll around Iron Horse’s beautiful property, taste wines from seven different wineries from Green Valley, nibble on local bites and relax with live music. Guests will also be able to join in an earthly conversation with guest speaker Jared Diamond, author of The World Until Yesterday. Net proceeds benefit National Geographic. RSVP is required, and tickets are limited to 100 guests. In addition to excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Iron Horse makes spectacular sparkling wines. They’ve even been served at the White House.
Concannon Vineyard, Livermore: Earth Month celebrations from April 1 – April 30. Concannon is offering complimentary wine flights all month long to visitors that bicycle to the tasting room. Concannon will be focusing on their Conservancy wines, which honors and is sourced from the Tri-Valley Conservancy. On Sunday, April 21 at 2pm, they are also offering a free tour of the winery. This tour will focus on sustainability practices and educate guests on how Concannon remains a bio-dynamic and environmentally friendly winery. Tasting suggestion: be sure to try the Conservancy Petite Sirah and Crimson & Clover red blend.
Molly Mutt & Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society: Earth Day Goes to the Dogs. Dog lovers can celebrate Earth Day by supporting the Humane Society. Build a new dog bed at a discount: re-use, re-wash, and re-love it all while promoting sustainability and keeping textiles out of landfills. Event participants will bring their “stuff” — used dog beds, old clothes, pillows, towels or blankets – to up-cycle into a new bed. This event takes place at Molly Mutt’s Berkeley headquarters on April 20 from 10am – 4pm at 675 Cedar Street, Berkeley.
California and the United States
All California State Parks, as well as all other State Park Foundations, have free admission at any of the 400 national parks. All park admissions are being waved April 22-26 in observance of National Park Week. The California State Parks Foundation is also seeking volunteers to help clean up and restore dozens of state parks throughout California on Saturday, April 13.
Even though Earth Day is merely a day, the message rings clear that people everywhere need to continue to make strides towards improving the environment all year long. Start with turning your own household green, then move into your community and beyond. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is easy to live a green lifestyle. Many of the Earth Day activities include learning about ways to be green and sustainable in our daily lives. Make a plan for helping the environment and leaving it in better shape for tomorrow.
Here is a list of many more Earth Day and Earth Week celebrations around the Bay Area. Find one near you.
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